We’re now mid-way through the first year of the AAAS Community Engagement Fellows Program (CEFP), funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The first cohort of Fellows is made up of 17 scientific community managers working with a diverse range of scientific communities. As they continue to develop their community engagement skills and apply some of the ideas and strategies from their training, the Fellows will report back on the Trellis blog, sharing their challenges, discoveries, and insights. Today, Fellows Melanie Binder and Rosanna Volchok catch us up on what their project team has been doing to better understand the current landscape of community advocate programs in science and technology.
The goal of our CEFP project team is to gain a stronger understanding of what makes a successful advocacy/ambassador program at scientific communities. As a follow up on Allen’s blog post describing who we, the Advocacy Ninjas, are this post provides an update on what we have been working on since then.
One of the initial challenges we faced as a team was deciding on the final output and format of our research findings. For example, did we want to publish a paper, produce a report, or present at a conference? Once we chose the final format–a detailed report with a scorecard and case studies–then it was time to get to work on a survey that, ideally, would address our two main research questions:
What do community advocacy/ambassador programs in science and tech look like?
Last week AAAS and Trellis hosted a three-day NSF-sponsored INCLUDES conference entitled: “The Technical and Human Infrastructure to Support Collective Impact of the INCLUDES Program at the Alliance and Network Levels”. The goal of the conference was to explore how small-scale pilot projects funded at the initial stage of the program might scale to larger collaborations.
To provide context for the discussions of collaboration infrastructure at the conference, we conducted a survey of tools and communication practices of the INCLUDES pilots. Here are three key takeaways based on 33 responses, covering 27 of the 37 total pilot projects.
In our series of posts about results of the AAAS State of Scientific Community Management survey we’ve looked into what types of organizations are home to scientific communities, examined their communication channels and ways of planning activities, and analyzed scientific community managers’ backgrounds, skill sets, and how their positions are funded.
In our final blog post about survey results (complete report coming soon), we return to the topic of community managers’ skill sets, focusing on their top challenges and the areas where they want more training.
We’re back with more insight from the AAAS State of Scientific Community Management survey. Previous posts have explored aspects of the community management position, the nature of the organizations where communities are found, and features of the communities themselves such as their communication channels.
In this post we look at three findings about program and activity planning in communities. Read on to see how having a community manager leads to activities that are more frequent, strategically planned, and participatory.
In previous posts about our State of Scientific Community Management survey, we’ve explored what types of scientific organizations have communities and we’ve described features of scientific community managers’ training and skill sets and their funding.
Today, we’re looking at some properties of the actual communities: their communication channels and platforms. Read on to find out about online versus offline communication channels and the adoption of online community platforms.
In this post we explore the skillsets that scientific community managers rely on in their current roles. We asked our survey respondents to rate the importance of 5 key skill sets, originally delineated by The Community Roundtable for the broader field of community management outside science. Read on to learn about which skill set ranks highest, and how the rankings change depending on seniority.
Posted by Dan Richman, Program Assistant for the Community Engagement Fellows Program and Gabrielle Rabinowitz, Community Manager for Trellis
Through the AAAS State of Scientific Community Management survey we’ve collected data on all facets of the field. So far we’ve looked at scientific community managers’ education and training and identified which types of organizations are hiring them. We’ve also learned that insufficient funding is the number one reason why organizations lack community managers.
Today, we’re following up on this finding by digging a little deeper into the picture of funding for community managers. Read on for 3 key findings.
In this post we report an overview of the types of organizations that were sampled by our survey, and why some organizations don’t have community managers. This is important for the Community Engagement Fellows Program because we intend to support scientific community managers in two broad variations of the role – either within professional societies and organizations or within research collaborations. We want to understand more about what those workplaces look like and how they differ.
So far we have received survey responses from a variety of scientific community engagement professionals around the world, including the UK, Germany, and the US. Wherever you’re located, you can participate in the survey – so please help us include scientific community management practices from your region in our overall picture of the field.
We’re particularly interested in hearing from community professionals working with large research collaborations, either within one institution or around the globe! We know that some of the language used in the survey may not be familiar to community builders in academic science, but we hope you’ll give it a try anyway. Research communities are key to the future of scientific community management and we want our data to reflect that.
Thank you for joining our effort to understand the current state of scientific community management! We look forward to reporting back with our findings.
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